Oh man I love making bold predictions, especially when it comes to fantasy football. Although, I don’t think the word “bold” is the best way to describe these predictions. Saying they’re “bold” would be implying that they are made on a whim, with no thought involved. That is not what these predictions are. They are however, against the grain of the general consensus. For example, last year I predicted that Josh Allen would be a top-5 QB in fantasy. Cha-Ching! I also predicted that Le’Veon Bell would be a top-5 RB. Whoops! Anyways, here are a few bold predictions I have genuine faith in this season.
Ja’Marr Chase Finishes As A Top-10 WR
There is a fraction of fantasy football philosophy that says rookie receivers are doomed to fail. These are the equivalent of gray-haired baseball scouts who want to talk about a guy’s incredible elbow placement when swinging for contact rather than his .200 batting average. What I’m trying to say is that line of thinking is outdated, especially given how the skill level of rookie receivers has risen over the past couple of years. Chase’s current ADP is 57th overall and 25th at WR. My bold predictions say he’ll finish much higher than that.
Chase is arguably the best WR prospect we have seen in recent memory. In 2019, he caught 84 passes for 1780 yards and 20 touchdowns. He caught those passes from Joe Burrow, the same guy who will be throwing to him in Cincy! His LSU teammate Justin Jefferson finished as WR6 in fantasy scoring as a rookie last year. And he had to catch passes from primetime legend Kirk Cousins.
Before Joe Burrow got injured last year, the Bengals threw the ball on 62.87% of plays (6th most) and Burrow averaged 41.2 pass attempts per game (2nd most). So yeah, the Bengals loved to throw the ball and that was before getting Burrow’s all-time favorite target in Chase. I expect them to continue to throw a lot and I think the offensive line will have to be at least a little better than last year.
More importantly, I expect Chase to be Burrow’s top target, but due to the presence of other threats (Boyd, Higgins, Mixon) defenses will not be able to lock in on Chase alone. I think him and Burrow will light up the scoreboard immediately, and the sorry Bengals defense will give them plenty of opportunities to sling it late in games.
Aaron Rodgers Does Not Play A Single Snap
Look, it’s no secret that Rodgers is extremely frustrated with the Packers franchise. As far as I can tell, he’s done with them and will never take another snap in a Green Bay uniform. But will he take a snap at all next season? I’m not so sure. The only way I see him taking the field is if he gets traded, and based on what I’ve heard so far, that’s not happening.
The Packers seem convinced they can change his mind. They cannot. This situation has been brewing for too long and it finally boiled over. Cue the Western music, because this is a standoff. And if they don’t trade him, I think he takes the season off to prove he means business.
The more I watch him speak, the more I am convinced he’s not that dedicated to football anymore. His love for the experience of guest hosting Jeopardy! is well documented. In his interview with Kenny Mayne on SportsCenter, he noted that he lost 15 pounds since the end of the season and feels great about his body. He’s 37 years old, he’s an MVP, he’s a Super Bowl champion. What more is there for him to do?
I’m not sure the extreme passion for football is still there, and if it’s not, why would he go back to a franchise that he feels has wronged him so harshly? And if they won’t trade him, what else is there to do but sit back and enjoy life? I’m sure the picture will become clearer as we get close to the start of the season, but for now, I can’t see myself drafting Rodgers in fantasy because of how much risk he carries. There are plenty of other promising QBs.
David Montgomery Finishes As A Top-10 RB
I understand the skepticism surrounding Montgomery in fantasy this year. Tarik Cohen will be back and whenever Cohen has been on the field Montgomery’s workload has been limited. But I’m putting my faith in Matt Nagy and the Bears to make the right move here and give D-Mont the touches he deserves. Think about this; from weeks 12-17 last season, David Montgomery was the highest scoring running back in fantasy football. In those six games, he averaged 25.7 PPR fantasy PPG. He scored 8 touchdowns and averaged 23 total touches per game.
So what version of D-Mont will we get this year? The workhorse version that scores 25.7 PPG? Or the version who went 9 weeks without amassing even 90 rushing yards in a single game? I think we’ll get the former. His performance in those weeks was a massive reason the Bears made the playoffs. And beyond that, Tarik Cohen is best suited as a plug-and-play, change of pace back. The two RBs can coexist in the offense without diminishing D-Mont’s workload.
The Bears O-line is bad sure, but it was bad last year when Montgomery went crazy for 6 weeks. Justin Fields will almost definitely be the starter at some point this season. And when he is, the Bears will lean on the running game to make him feel more comfortable. Last year they ran the ball on only 37.73% of plays (27th). I expect that number to go up this year and Montgomery to be the beneficiary. At an ADP of 44 overall and RB21, I would love to have him as my RB2 or FLEX and would not have to give up much to get him.